If you aren't familiar with my journey over these last eighteen months, check it out here:
Journey to Health: Installment 1 (Introduction)
Journey to Health: Installment 2 (Body Image)
Journey to Health: Installment 3 (Half Marathon)
Journey to Health: Installment 4 (Goals)
Journey to Health: Installment 5 (It's a Bumpy Road)
Here's the part that might strike you as odd. But, for many years of my life...I was the smart one, the one with the pretty face, the one with the personality...have you heard all of these before? If you've struggled with your weight, I am sure you have. And truth be told, I felt a lot like I knew who I was at a higher weight. I was the smart one with the good personality...and you know what ~I know how to be her. I know how to make self deprecating jokes about my weight. I know how to be funny. I know how to work extra hard to get people to look past my appearance. Being thinner...I definitely don't know how to deal with that. You mean guys look at me? Nope, not used to that. You mean women find me intimidating? Yeah, never experienced that either. It's all so...so foreign and uncomfortable.
Fat was a security blanket for me. No one noticed me; I was safe to blend into the wall. Now, I'm 33, and people see me. It's unsettling and uncomfortable. I sometimes want to just blend in. Now, am I saying that this is how everyone feels? Of course not. Some people may not have consciously or subconsciously enjoyed being overweight. I surely never thought I did. And now I've spent about six months at or near my goal weight. I've dealt with women who didn't want to be my friend because I was more athletic than she (ha, if she only knew) and I've dealt with men (other than my husband) finding me attractive. Yikes. Frankly, I find myself saying, "I wish I was just fat again," like a broken record lately.
Losing weight is not just a physical journey. It is emotional, spiritual, mental and sexual as well. Every facet of your life changes. Your budget, your physical appearance, your reactions, your relationship dynamics ~ they all go through shifts, and at times its happening so rapidly that you don't deal with while going through the process. And as I am here reflecting back over the last eighteen months of this journey, I realize there are definitely places along the way I should've asked for help. Reached out to professionals, doctors and friends who are going through it too. Going through the transition of two moves and 100 lbs of weight loss in one year is an awful lot to handle for anyone. I am glad to say that I am now seeing a counselor, have communication going with with my pastor and have reached out to a Weight Loss Surgery Support group here in Killeen, Texas. I just asked some friends to join me in a healthy eating/weight loss challenge as well. However, I wish I had done it sooner. I would like to go back and tell Alicia about six months ago that some counseling would have been a good idea and that it was okay to reach out. This is not a journey to do alone. Which is why I have opened up over the last year and shared this journey for all its ups and downs with you. It may not always be pretty, but you are not alone in the trials you are facing as you work toward your health.
Friends, there are many reasons being overweight could be a security blanket to us. Perhaps abuse caused you to pack on the pounds to keep would be abusers away. Perhaps you had a rocky home life and food was the one constant friend to turn to. Or maybe you cannot remember a time when you weren't overweight...and you honestly don't know who you are without all of it on your body. Let me remind you tonight that you are more than your weight, you are more than your fastest time on a run, you are more than a size. You are a beautiful creation and your body is a temple to be treasured and cared for. That ultimately is what it is all about Moms. So grab a partner to journey with, ask for help, admit that its hard...and above all honor the gift you've been given as a woman, this beautiful body that may have bore children or arms that may have held a child you've taken in as your own. Take care of yourselves moms. You are treasured and needed.